"Among many other things, Fantastic Fest is a celebration of all things twisted, monstrous and unusual. So why exclude your very own face from the party? This year, no one receives a Fantastic Fest ID Badge without submitting a photograph taken at the height of their SHAKEYFACE power!"If you're wondering, what is this shakeyface of which you speak?
"for all of you unfamiliar with the more impressive abilities of the human body, let us explain: Shakeyface is simply the photographic documentation of violently whipping your head back and forth (or up and down for you daredevils) until it actually distorts your features into those of some unspeakable beast."Before I go on I'll answer the three most obvious questions that will arise.
- Yes, this is a horrible, horrible idea. There is a clear reason Darwinian evolution has discouraged this sort of activity. It hurts. To the extent that my eyes hurt just thinking about taking last year's photo. I'm not entirely sure you aren't risking something truly bad happening.
- No - they probably won't deny you entry for non-compliance. In reality I'm pretty sure due to may photos I've seen (and the difficulty on taking such a photo if you don't pre-submit) that the organizers will totally issue a badge even without a shakeyface.
- Yes, if you're attending you really should get into the spirit of things. At your own risk of course - please see answer (1) above. All the cool kids are doing it. It's seriously rewarding to be complimented by another attendee on the quality of your disgustingly ugly mug.
A bit more on the mechanics of the technical process. I'm pretty sure this ain't going to work so well with an iPhone. You need a friend with a strong stomach to hold the camera, a spot with a LOT of light, and a camera that allows you to set a very short exposure. The shorter the better for extra crispness. Given the difficulty in capturing just the right moment the faster frames per second it can shoot the better. Your helper is going to want to just hold down that shutter button until you keel over. If you try and cheat by shooting video and then extracting a frame just be sure you've got a camera that allows you to set the exposure separately from the frame rate. I did give that a try as well and the results while not as sharp aren't entirely horrible.
More on the environment you use - Don't try this inside unless you have very powerful lights to support things (the fast exposure needs a lot of illumination). Even if you do I'd suggest outdoors. Otherwise you're just gonna make a mess out of your apartment. Who wants to clean spittle off their walls? This isn't a dainty activity in the final analysis. As a bonus it's fun to meet strangers who wonder what the hell you're up to. Most are nice and very few actually call the authorities.
Next year I may need to do some additional innovation on this technique. Last night I was at a party full of engineers who were quick to come up with other, potentially less damaging ways to distort one's features. Skydiving, indoor-skydiving and a few other thoughts were floated. We'll see...
|Here comes the pain...|
What's up with all the water? - A couple of years ago a friend took an unbelievably awesome shot with some red liquid spewing out of his mouth mid-shake. I experimented with going down that path but I'm not able to maintain the properly out of control motion and direct the liquid payload appropriately. Thankfully I was just running a few tests with water so the mess wasn't extensive. If you go this route you'll definitely want the longest possible standoff from your camera person. Especially if they're not using your camera. Suspect folks get upset about that sort of ruining their toys thing...
Below are a few sample shots - one of which I did submit for my badge. I also included video from the exercise - both at full speed and then slowed down to something like 10% of normal. This was during the later in the day exercise so I'm pretty sure it's not a demonstration of my shakey best.
It occurs to me that Fantastic Fest maybe is missing a great opportunity to sign up a massage sponsor for the event. Between the flying to Austin and the badge photo it's certainly a service everyone will need. In the meantime perhaps we'll need to just make due with the tequila sponsor who is thankfully onboard.
Oy ... my neck is starting to hurt again just thinking about all this. Don't try this at home. But if you do - make sure you have a blast! :-)
|Seriously - it's harder to keep your face level, shaking and spewing liquid than I would've guessed.|
|Earlier in the morning I was better able to channel Droopy Dog the Shakeyface Saint than later in the afternoon.|
|Not quite as good - but it certainly hurt a bit...|
|Close - but no cigar. I really need to figure out how Brian nailed this shot two years back|
|Sometimes you can get the right exit pattern - but lining it up with a front on look at the camera is the trick. Clearly this is a reason to buy a much more expensive fast shooting (in terms of frames per second) device. ;-)|
And just for posterity here's a video log of me looking like a complete moron yesterday morning looked like if you were holding the camera.